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Archive for February, 2012

Commuting by Ice boat

Feb 16


         Dear diary,
         Today I went to school with my friends Cecile and Edna on my
         new igloo ICE boat. We sailed along the very, very frozen Kickapoo          river and through the farm fields of our friends to commute to          work. Eric, who is a timber wolf, came with us in case we ran into          any problems with a rough gang of squirrels that hangs out          near the forest on Krebson’s farm close to the school. Ophelia the          hen sat at the front of the boat as our look out.

         My ice boat is of course made of ice. But all parts on the boat are          upcycled from other things we found in our barn. I use an old          ski boot on a ski to steer the ice boat. The ice boat has four big old          skis so it moves quickly through the snow. The sail is made of          antique, empty, grain bags, and the wood is all from a
         broken barn.

Can you think of different ways you can get to school without using a car?

Valentine’s Day Robot

Feb 13

Today after dinner the doorbell rang. My mom looked at my dad, my dad looked at me and I looked at Myles who was on the floor by my feet. “Who could that be at this hour?” my mom asked my dad. My dad got up from the couch and went to the front door to look. “Hmm it looks like it is someone for Beatrice” he said.

I jumped up from the couch and Myles ran with me to the front door. When I opened the door I saw Kirby’s steam powered, robot named Watt standing with a arm full of flowers. “Happy Varen..ti-n-duh” Watt said. “I am sorry Watt I don’t understand what you are saying.” I said to Watt. Watt was quiet and then repeated the same thing “Happy varen ti-n-duh.” My dad walked up to me and put his hand on my shoulder and said “I think Kirby’s robot is saying happy Valentine’s Day.” “Ooh how sweet.” my mom said. “Thank you” I said to Watt as he handed me the flowers and said “no thank you.”

Kirby wanted Watt to give me the flowers today because he knew that it is already Valentines day in Tuvalu. Since Tuvalu is in the Oceanic time zone it is already Tuesday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day. “How clever and thoughtful of Kirby” my mom said I turned my face away from her because I was blushing.

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WATT THE ROBOT is a steam robot that gets energy from the sun via solar panels and mirrors on his back, arms and head. The sun hits the robot’s solar panels & then heats the water so hot in Watt’s metal stomach that the water becomes steam! The steam then goes through metal pipes and pushes pistons which then turn the gears of Watt’s engine creating electricity! The electricty powers Watt’s brain, arms, legs and voice.

A solar powered steam engine first premiered at the Paris World’s Fair (Exposition Universelle) in 1878! Inventor Auguste Mouchot’s solar powered ice maker made quite a stir for the crowds visiting the fair that year!

Do you like robots? Send Beatrice your favorite robot story. If she posts your story you will get your very own Beatrice sticker set.

I am not a ground hog

Feb 02

Ground Hog character

I am not a ground hog


“I am not a ground hog” my friend Wilfred T. Woodchuck said. “Put me down” Wilfred said to the humans dressed in black suits and top hats. “And stop calling me Jimmy” he said as he jumped down to a wood stump near the men with hats and ran to his hole in the forest.

Wilfred is a a graduate from Kickapoo Valley Community College in meteorology and works for *NOAA. He always wears the very stylish, regionally appropriate Stormy-Kromer hat made in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. He told me that with his European, climate computer models he can predict the weather five days into the future, and that seeing your shadow or not seeing your shadow is just silly and “has nothing to do with serious meteorology.”

I did not want to tell Wilfred that as a Marmot or relative of the squirrel his species has so many names like whistle pig, land beaver, woodchuck and ground hog!

*NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration